Whilst on holiday this year, I read an interesting piece online about the so-called death of the all-inclusive holiday. Although this was due to the UK ‘claim culture’ it got me thinking about the deals (or lack of) that Paul and I have taken advantage of over the past few years.
This Summer we cut out the middle man, found our hotel and then put the package together ourselves. It felt great going around and booking the various parts of our trip to Rhodes and it also meant that we got exactly what we wanted from our trip too, no being told what to do or when to do it and I honestly cannot see us booking a package deal again after this.
However, it can be daunting to take on the challenge of booking all aspects of your Summer getaway instead of leaving it in the hands of an expert at the local travel agents.
I get that.
Booking a holiday can be stressful enough when all you have to worry about is the packing and turning up at the airport, nevermind when you need to do that plus make sure you have booked the right dates, organised transfers and checked any health / entry requirements before you go too!
As with most things in life you need to start with a plan. Decide on when and where you want to go, this year Paul and I spotted the perfect location on an agents website but hated the flight times. This is the only reason that we ended up on Expedia, to see what the hotel would cost us if we booked direct and sourced our own flights. To our surprise it worked out cheaper to not only book direct, but to go for longer; something we wouldn’t have known if we had just booked with the agent.
Once you have your plan (the where and when if you will), you can then shop around a little bit and find yourself the best deal possible. Sites like Hotels.com and Expedia are fantastic for this as they let you gauge the market and availability. Also look out for ‘member’ privileges as these can either save you money straight away (secret rates) or in the long run (reward nights).
After adding who you are staying and travelling with to your when and where you going, it is time to start thinking about what you need when you get there … and I’m not just talking about inflatable unicorns, suncreams and a few nice bikinis either! As I mentioned earlier, one of the downsides of not going through an agent is that there is no-one to tell you what jabs you need to have before you travel. Personally I always check on the NHS website before I head anywhere outside of the UK just to be safe and if you’re a frequent traveller then you are likely to be as up-to-date as you need to be, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
At last you’re pretty much ready to go and the only things left to sort out (assuming you haven’t left your packing and currency until the last minute) are your transfers, the how’s of this scenario if you like. Check out the transport links at your arrival airport and think about how you are going to get around whilst you’re there. If you’re heading on a city break it is likely that your destination will have fantastic transport links from the Airport to your destination and that you will be able to explore on foot or by using public transport.
On the other hand if you’re heading on a beach break your destination may be a little further than just a tube transfer away and you may want to explore the local area a little further, meaning that a hire car may be a better option for you. Again shopping around online can make a big difference so do your homework to find the best deal and don’t be afraid to use local companies if they’re a better option.
And thats it your not a package holiday is ready to go, all that is left is getting on that plane and indulging in the local culture.
Do you love a package holiday? Or do you prefer to book it all yourself individually?
Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x
Some of these items may have been sent to me for review. Please see my disclaimer for more information.